Guess what readers? It took me 25 hours to go from Dallas to Germany a while back.
But don’t feel sorry for me because that trip was one of my best ever. Now before telling me to get a checkup from the neck up, bear with me for a moment. I’ll get to the rest of the story further down. I first need to come clean with you on a revelation.
“We don’t have diversity problems here. It’s our neighbors south of the border who have those kinds of problems. Don’t forget, this is Canada, and remember, Toronto is the most diverse city in the world!” So said a group of Canadian professionals who were about to participate in a multi-day diversity workshop. These people may have been in denial, or perhaps they were just rationalizing. They were taking diversity to automatically mean a problem in the U.S., primarily with African Americans. After all, who hadn’t heard about the civil rights movement? So after a series of questions that allowed us to peel away the layers of reasoning proffered, these participants were able to acknowledge the issues, ultimately saying, “Yes, we do have diversity problems. It’s just that we are usually much too polite to talk about them, especially in mixed company.”
Promoting women’s leadership in global organizations is really an economic and sustainability issue rather than a diversity issue. Companies must focus on successful outcomes and bottom lines. In this case, the bottom line is earning a profit, creating shareholder value and focusing on economic sustainability. CEO’s can’t afford to continue to conduct business as usual. Globalization has shifted into warp speed leading to limited resources, increasing costs and rising awareness of political and economic instability in certain areas of the world. And, corporate leaders must find innovative and creative ways to meet these challenges head-on.
The academic study of ethics, in light of the experience of the Holocaust, has witnessed rapid development in the last decade. In addition to research into ethical decision making during the Holocaust itself in such volumes as Rab Bennett’s Under the Shadow of the Swastika: The Moral Dilemmas of Resistance and Collaboration in Hitler’s Europe, more general reflections on the significance of the Holocaust for contemporary ethics have come to the fore from Jewish and Christian scholars alike. There have also been voices such as Herbert Hirsch who have questioned whether we can learn anything from the Holocaust in terms of the moral challenge facing us today given the sui generis nature of that event as well as the immense complexity of a modern, global society.
This is a story of results achieved over three decades with the invaluable help of the author’s science students at Southern Adventist University, the University of Denver, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Three of these students were African American, three were of Asian descent, and several were of European origin. The results achieved were also due to the intermittent but crucial collaborations of American, Belgian, Chinese, Colombian, Croatian, French, Indian, and especially Russian colleagues. Science—yes, even chemistry, mathematics, and physics—involves your intuitive, social, side.
A diverse group of leaders recently came together in Chattanooga to discuss the United States’ International Affairs Budget. The speakers were an unusual combination of representatives of the U.S. military, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce. They mingled with us attendees from corporate, government, education, and nonprofit organizations. Given the tumultuous events around the globe, we were more than curious to hear what they had to say.
The complex constellation of skills required for global leadership is continually morphing. The basic leadership competencies are only an axis around which revolve the specifics of local culture and the
analytics of the target culture globally. Therefore, not only does the knowledge management evolve, but so does the audience for global leadership development. At one time, the audience was primarily executives involved in international relocation. Over time, that group widened to include those who work with them: Human Resource departments, Supply Chain groups, and professionals with frequent contact, particularly in the STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Today, in order to stay competitive in this environment, virtually every nation on the face of the planet is extending their global leadership training into new arenas. A key area is our youth, brought up on the internet with its impersonal speed and no-holds-barred communication style. The question now becomes, how can we capture the imagination, thought processes, and commitment of potential leaders in an arena with few quick answers or short tweets.
There was a time when flexibility was all about time. Flextime, part-time, job share, compressed schedules enabled the capture of time for less work and more life outside work. When Hewlett-Packard first rolled out flextime in 1972, the term “flexibility” was used almost interchangeably – if narrowly – with flextime. The term “telecommuting” was coined in that same period, although the practice of flexibility as place was in its infancy.
My transitional experience from the tough life of a new immigrant to become a college graduate, as a new U.S. citizen, a volunteer for CARE International, a private humanitarian aid organization, and now my charitable organization the Global Paint for Charity, I feel very grateful and blessed to be here especially in Atlanta Georgia. But it’s important, as immigrants living in the Diaspora, that we don’t forget what we can do to help people back at home. It’s not good enough for us to complain about what other people aren’t doing for us. It’s important that we all need to group and regroup together, to discuss ways to make a difference in those in needs back at homes and our community in here.
The globalization of organizations is an undeniably reality. Businesses and governments are working together to solve problems too big and too complex for any one country. Unfortunately, a quick glance through the recent news headlines points to a critical roadblock in the path to successful international collaboration: a severe lack of trust across organizational and national borders. Trust is one of the basic building blocks of successful collaboration.